Author: Singapore's Budget Babe

How To Say No To (Expensive) Wedding Invites

Attending weddings can be a reallllllllly expensive affair.  How do you politely decline when you’ve invited to an expensive wedding which you can’t afford to attend? Let’s leave out destination weddings for now, since the cost of your airfare and accommodation for such events will probably bust …It is no secret that wedding costs are huge for the couple (Singaporean couples spend $40k – $60k on theirs), but there’s lesser talk about how expensive it can be for the guests as well. With most couples getting married in their 20s to early 30s, this usually means that many of...

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The DBS Multi-Currency Account : Save on online shopping and overseas spending !

I’m a bit late to the game, but it was only recently that I found out about the DBS Multi-Currency Account (MCA) when I went to watch Pirates of the Caribbean at the cinemas and laughed like mad after this ad played. Just watch the incredulous look on the shopkeeper’s face as he tries to process why his customer is telling him that he just made a rainbow in his pants LOL. Anyway, I digress. An account that lets me pay like a local overseas with no foreign exchange fee incurred, while letting me buy currencies at my preferred rate sounded pretty awesome to me. It is...

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IPO Analysis: Union Gas Holdings

Wow this has been a pretty busy season for IPOs thus far. The newest player to join the game is Union Gas Holdings, which will be listed on the Catalist Board. But before we delve into the analysis, let’s take a look at how the recent IPOs fared. Company / Stock IPO Price Current Price Gain / Loss Sanli Environmental $0.225 $0.335 +48.9% World Class Global $0.26 $0.26 0% HRnetGroup $0.90 $0.84 -6% NetLink $0.81 ? ? Union Gas Holdings $0.25 ? ? Details: – 60 million shares for offer at $0.25 each – 1.28 million public tranche – IPO closes...

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Freelancing? Here’s how you can still get approval for a home loan.

The gig economy is growing, and even the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has now acknowledged the challenges faced by freelancers in Singapore (read the speech here). Aside from the insecurity that comes with not having a fixed monthly salary, many self-employed individuals often find their applications for personal loans rejected. If you’re a freelancer and looking to build your own home, here’s how you can improve your chances of getting approved for a home loan. The good news is, there are many banks in Singapore that provide self-employed individuals with home loans. Today, about 14% of the Singapore workforce...

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IPO Analysis: NetLink Trust

I was alerted to NetLink’s IPO by my broker, who contacted me two weeks ago to offer private placement shares. The IPO officially opens tomorrow for public subscription, and there’s been a lot of media hype over what is being said to be the year’s “biggest IPO”. I’ve started analysing the IPO prospectus last week but sat on this post for the longest time because its insanely verbose and boring 516 pages put me to sleep on a few occasions -.-Sorry to everyone who has been waiting! Without further ado, here’s my take.Details:– 2.89 billion shares for offer at $0.81...

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Recommended Books on Personal Finance & Investing

I’ve recently finished reading Millionaire Teacher by Andrew Hallam and it was a really good read! It is a title I would highly recommend to anyone who is just starting out on their journey to better manage their personal finances and get started on investing, as it covers quite a broad range of topics and is also a motivating read which will probably inspire you to read more books / websites to hone your skills further. As quite a number of you have written to me asking for book recommendations on personal finance and investing, I thought I’ll take...

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How this family got out of debt by changing their lifestyle (Reader’s Letter)

One of the biggest rewards from maintaining this financial blog is when readers write to me to share their own success stories, and recently I received a story so touching that I couldn’t not share it. After all, there’s no greater joy than the knowledge that yet another person has managed to overcome their cashflow issues and is on their way to financial freedom. This reader agreed to let me share her story here, and went another step further to detail the tips she adopted to go from debt-ridden to debt free and happy. If we could do it,...

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IPO Analysis : World Class Global & HRnetGroup

Is the stock market picking up? In just two weeks, we’ve seen 3 IPOs on SGX – usually a sign of a bullish market sentiment. And while I prefer to sell during such times, I don’t usually rule out spending on IPOs especially if their valuations are cheap or decent enough for me. Unfortunately I wasn’t allocated any shares of Sanli Group last week when the results were announced (sorry for not blogging about them – I literally finished my analysis 12 hours before the IPO application deadline and didn’t have enough time to churn out a blog post!)....

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Why You Can’t Always Trust Analyst Reports

Can we really trust analyst reports when it comes to stock recommendations? My answer is no. I’ve never trusted analyst reports. While I do read them, I don’t rely on them to decide whether or not to buy a certain stock. Sometimes when the opportunity is right, I’ll even go in the opposite direction of what these reports tell us to do. When they’re all saying “Buy”, I’ll sell. When they say “Sell”, I’ll wait a few more weeks and then start buying in. The sections I always have the biggest issue with are the valuations and target prices....

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No One Is Going To Pay for your Expensive Wedding

If you’re holding a grand wedding to impress your guests, then you’ve gotten it all wrong. A wedding is about YOU and your partner, and NOT your guests. They’re the sidekicks, the spectators, the audience there to celebrate what is possibly the most important milestone of your life. 10 years ago, the average cost of a hotel table was less than $1000 but now, the rates have escalated to $1500 – $2000 on average. Isn’t that scary? The inflation rate for weddings is about 10% every year (that hotel / photographer / makeup artist your friend used for her wedding...

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Hidden Costs To Look Out For When Hiring A Wedding Makeup Artist

TLDR: Do you really need wedding ampoules / airbrush makeup and what are the usual hidden costs I should watch out for? Since embarking on this entire wedding affair, I’ve come to realise that the wedding industry is full of profiteering vendors who are quite ready to sell you exorbitant services or packages as you try to put together your dream wedding. And nowhere is this more prominent than in the bridal makeup and hair styling industry.  I had initially budgeted $200 for wedding makeup and hair. Once I started sourcing for quotes, I realised this amount could barely...

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How much will your lifestyle cost when you turn 65?

Have you ever wondered about how much your lifestyle will cost when you turn 65?? How much do you think you’ll need every month to get by? $800? $1000? $1500?  The folks at The Fifth Person ran a calculation on estimated living costs 30 years from now, and I thought it’ll make for a fun exercise to tweak it to something closer to us 90s kids. Let’s work out the numbers. To keep our calculations simple, we will assume that the overall rate of inflation is 3% (in line with existing data over the past decade, and what TFP...

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My Investment Approach

If you think financial education is expensive, try financial ignorance instead. Two notable investment schemes were in the news last week for all the wrong reasons, and they both had eerily similar characteristics of promising their investors unbelievably high monthly returns. Last week, investors cried out when their money didn’t come through. You may call me skeptical, but I never believe folks who tell me they have any “lobang” or “proven tactic” which is “guaranteed to make money”. If money is really that easy to come by, then there wouldn’t be so many poor people in the world. I...

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Better Alternatives to get Miles (vs the KrisFlyer UOB Account)

In my last post, I wrote about how I was misled by the influencers who worked on the #KrisFlyerUOB campaign to believe it was a good account, when it really wasn’t. Now that we’ve seen how lifestyle influencers are capable of royally screwing up reviews related to financial products, how about brands start giving the sponsored posts to the financial bloggers instead? A few folks have asked for my opinion of the KrisFlyer UOB account, so here it is : No, I will not be signing up for the KrisFlyer UOB account, simply because the maximum miles per dollar (mpd)...

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Krisflyer UOB Influencers’ Campaign Reeks of Dishonesty?

If I were to believe what all the influencers on the #KrisFlyerUOB campaign said, I’d think the account and debit card is a wonderful deal. Except that it is not. Now, here’s where it gets interesting. I personally thought it was a terrible product, but apparently all these (realllllllly popular) influencers don’t seem to share my views. In fact, they had nothing but praises for it! I’ll upload my analysis of the account in a separate post, but that’s not why I’m here today. I’m here because I felt this whole marketing campaign was downright misleading, and that’s not...

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